Challenge to the high school graduates of 2013:
Many of you will be entering college next year. I suspect most of you have already applied and have been accepted to the college of your choice. I also suspect some of you received that dreaded “rejection” letter. As examples the acceptance rate at Harvard this year was 5.72%, Yale 6.72%, Columbia 6.89%, and Princeton 7.29%. If you wanted stay in Texas the acceptance rate at Texas A&M was 68%, UT was 46.6%, or UTEP with a 99.8% rolling acceptance rate. I must admit I would like to meet the ones who make up the 0.2% rejected by UTEP but of course I doubt I could meet them since they forgot to put their name on the application!
I believe UTEP is a great deal like Jesus who invites anyone and everyone to come and follow Him.
Don’t get me wrong following Jesus will not be easy, but it is open to anyone and everyone willing to pay the price. So what does it cost to follow Jesus? I suspect most of you always thought it was “cheap” or “free.” It is true that Jesus paid in full the price of our salvation, but to cost of following Jesus is high for those willing to step out and follow Him.
Jesus cuts to the chase when he demands “Let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Yes, you heard him right. To follow Jesus will cost you your life. I believe Dietrich Bonheoffer said it best when he wrote in his classic book “The Cost of Discipleship”:
“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.”
Too often when one looks at this invitation we try to divide into three parts, denying, taking up the cross, and following, but I believe in a real sense it is one fluid motion. In many ways, it reminds me of the Marine recruiting slogan that states:
“We don’t take applications—only commitments!”
Jesus too is looking only for a few good men and women willing to sell out and follow Him no matter where He leads or where the road might take them.